Salvation Army Coat Sale Shopping Tips

Posted On Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Filed Under: Deals & Steals, Looking FLY on a Dime, Thrift Stores

A few weeks ago I showed you the goods I nabbed at Salvation Army’s massive coat sale {refresh your memory here}. Prices were $20-$30 and the warehouse was full of trenches, furs {real and faux}, leathers, peacoats and more.

If you missed the last sale, NYC’s Salvation Army {46th street between 10th and 11th avenues} is having their final coat sale of the season on January 8. Check the Salvation Army directory to see if your local branch is having a sale.

If you plan to get in on the action, check out the tips below.

Arrive Early:

The sale opens at 9, but the line starts to form at 8. Since you’ll be standing outside, bundle up and make sure you’ve had a little something to drink or eat so you don’t get lightheaded.

Carts are Mandatory:

Lugging around tons of coats isn’t convenient and a quick way to wear yourself out, so make a mad dash to get a cart. *If you’re going to the 46th street location, the carts are located to the left as you enter. Unfortunately, the number of carts is limited so if you have a large duffle bag or foldable shopping cart, you should definitely bring it.

Check for fit:

Of course you know to check for tears and stains but pay close attention the arms and sleeves as well. These are usually the first parts of the coat that show wear and tear. Also, it’s a good idea to wear a bulky sweater when trying on the coats. You want to be sure the fit isn’t too snug.

Set a Budget:

I walked away with five coats for less than $100 at the last sale. Though that was an awesome deal, it was a bit overkill. Did I really need five coats? Nah, not really. I got a bit carried away. My advice is to set a budget for yourself and stick to it. The amazing prices are pretty tempting but buying more than you really need ends up costing you in the end with a coat you’ll never wear. Though the location accepts credit and debit cards, you may want to bring cold hard cash so you don’t overspend.

My strategy at last month’s sale was simple: grab a cart, throw anything that looked remotely interesting in my cart, try everything on {there are mirrors throughout the warehouse}, put back anything that didn’t fit and do a final look around before heading out.

Has anyone ever scored anything at the Salvation Army coat sale? Do you plan to attend the last sale of the season?

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4 thoughts on “Salvation Army Coat Sale Shopping Tips

  1. I am def attending on january 8th. my budget is 2 jackets, max, and they have to be things I’m going to wear. Too many time I (and many people) buy things we barely wear! Not into furs and all that (not even on moral issue but i just don’t think i can rock the style) sooo focusing on peacoats, trenches, or leathers. I just need luck getting up early enough first lol the I’ll worry about the rest if/when i get there!

    • Setting a budget is a great idea (I should have done that the first time I went). If I go back, I’m going for 1 or 2 coats and only if there’s something really unique about them (bold color, interesting structure, etc).

  2. The listing I’ve found has the sale on Saturday, the 7th (today), not the 8th – for the 46th St. location.  Maybe you guys are looking at a different store?

    • You’re commenting on a post that’s more than a year old. Last year, the sale was on the 8th. This year, it was on the 7th :)

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